Nowadays, scams are all the rage. On Netflix or Hulu or Twitter, people can’t get enough of documentaries about Fyre Festival and other high-profile scams that have hit the news. In addition, if you like to see a scam or con artist movie in its entirety, there are many to select from.
They are all based on real-life scams, con artists, or large-scale frauds depicted in the films listed below. You can find a plethora of films on fake cons, but sometimes you simply want the “I can’t believe this is real!” sense of a true narrative, and these flicks will do just that.
11 movies on con artists and scams, ranging from a literary forger to a teenage con artist who went on to become one of the most well-known con artists in history to large-scale financial frauds. You know, while you wait for the inevitable college admissions fraud and German heiress grifter flicks to be released.
1. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Lee Israel, a novelist who fabricated letters from prominent literary personalities, is the inspiration for this film, which earned lead Melissa McCarthy an Oscar nod for Best Actress.
2. Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
With a lot of behind-the-scenes material, this Netflix documentary on the infamous Fyre Festival is one of two that came released in January 2019.
3. Fyre Fraud
In comparison to Netflix’s Fyre Festival documentary, Hulu’s Fyre Fraud has a much broader reach. As a civilization, what does this all reveal? In addition, it has an interview with Fyre Festival co-founder Billy McFarland, unlike the Netflix documentary.
4. The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley
The Inventor, an HBO documentary about Elizabeth Holmes and her former firm, Theranos, broadcast on March 18th. According to reports, the technology developed by Theranos to do hundreds of blood tests with only a tiny bit of blood was inaccurate. While she awaits trial, Holmes is facing up to 20 years in prison on various fraud counts (she has pled not guilty).
5. Catch Me If You Can
As a young con artist, Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of Frank Abagnale, Jr., in this 2002 film about the life of the actor’s character.
6. The Wolf Of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is based on the memoir of stock market scammer Jordan Belfort. The video depicts him swindling his way to the top and enjoying a sumptuous lifestyle before it all falls apart.
7. The Wizard Of Lies
It debuted on HBO in 2017 and chronicles the story of Bernie Madoff and the greatest Ponzi scam ever. The film stars Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff and Michelle Pfeiffer as Ruth, the wife of Madoff.
Catfish, the documentary film that served as the inspiration for the MTV show of the same name, takes us in an entirely other way. The main Catfish scammer didn’t steal anything, but it’s still a tale of a person who wasn’t who they said they were.
9. American Hustle
“Some of this truly happened,” reads the beginning of American Hustle, which is based on the FBI investigation known as Abscam, which took place from 1970 until 1985.
10. Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room
Enron’s demise is the subject of Alex Gibney’s latest film, which also features the director of The Inventor. It may not be as shady as some of the other movies, but there is a lot of deception in this one..
11. The Big Short
This movie about those who gambled against the housing market, The Big Short, isn’t quite a con artist situation like faking famous authors’ letters, but if you’re into learning about scams, you’ll still enjoy it.
With all of the recent frauds in the news, additional documentaries and biopics are likely to be produced and released in the coming year or two.